About 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic, and most don't know it

Diabetes (MGNOnline)

With 86 million Americans classified as pre-diabetic, it is worth looking into two specific ways you can cut your risk of developing diabetes.

Michael fields is exercising more since receiving a daunting diagnosis.

“My doctor advised me I needed to start changing my lifestyle,” said Fields. “I was prediabetic."

Fields also signed up for the YMCA'S diabetes prevention program. It's for prediabetics, who are one step shy of developing type two diabetes.

"It's a 25-class support group,” said Fields. “We talk about various things from healthy eating, eating out, counting your fat grams to stress levels."

The CDC-approved curriculum has two main goals: increase exercise to 150 minutes per week, and reduce body weight by five to seven-percent.

Since starting the program, Nancy Shia says she's more aware of what she eats.

“Focusing on what you're eating is the most important thing, where you know how many calories you're taking in," said Shia.

And she's getting results.

"The biggest result I've found is in my blood pressure,” said Shia. “After losing about 5 lbs, it started to become normal and it's pretty normal now."

Research done by NIH found this program can reduce new cases of type two diabetes by 58-percent -- and by 71 percent in people over age 60.

But 90 percent of people with prediabetes don't know they have it. So when you visit the doctor, be your own advocate. Patients should always ask what are my numbers because pre-diabetes has no symptoms.

Michael is now motivated to take control of his health, and encourages others to do the same.

"If you have time to reverse diabetes or prediabetes, why not take it full forward and do it," asked Michael.

Medical treatments for type two diabetes typically cost about 650-dollars a month. YMCA’S nationwide program costs 36-dollars a month. Some insurances cover it, and they say Medicare is expected to start covering it in 2018 too.

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